It started as any other workout. I drive to the gym. I hop on the treadmill. I begin walking, then slowly jogging, followed by a steady run/walk/run until my iPod trainer says stop. It was an ordinary workout at first, however, what happened towards the end of it not only thrilled me, but it will be something that I look forward to again.
Right now, I’m training to become a better runner. I’m not clear on the specifics, yet. I just know that God has a future plan for me that requires me to be in better shape. I don’t know what that plan is. I only know where it begins. He has prompted me to begin this training to gain more energy and stamina. I have obeyed.
This week, I experienced God’s power over my abilities and the truth of the strength that he provides.
For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:13 NLT)
I am at a difficult part of the running training program, where at the end of the session, I’m ready to get off the treadmill and lay on the gym floor and moan. I’m not kidding. I sent my husband a text message on Monday that said “If you need me, I’ll be on the floor of the gym locker room until I feel like I can move again.” He, of course, texted back with a laugh. He didn’t know I was only half kidding.
On Tuesday evening, I was at the dreaded intense end of my running session. I finished it. I moved along to the cool-down, feeling like my legs were jelly. Every step was agony and I couldn’t wait to get off of the machine. My body was shutting down. I switched the iPod trainer off and put my Pandora app on a worship station.
The first song that came on was “Every Move I Make”, a song very familiar to me because 100 angelic voices sang it along with me during praise and worship just hours earlier at camp.
Every move I make I make in You, You make me move Jesus
Every breath I take I breathe in You
Every step I take I take in You, You find my way Jesus
Every breath I take I breathe in You
Waves of mercy, Waves of grace
Everywhere I look I see your face
Your love has captured me
Oh my God, This Love
How can it be?
This song breathed so much life into my lungs and strength into my legs that I began running. Again. Faster.
I was supposed to be cooling down, but little did I know, I was just warming up. I could hear the voices of the children at camp singing cheerfully to the song. I ran. And ran. And ran… as song after song came on. My legs moved with ease and felt strong. I enjoyed it. I breathed easily. I smiled.
I looked up and before I realized it, I had went another mile. Sure, anyone can run a good mile if they have the right music. But this, was. effortless. Effortless, when I thought I couldn’t go anymore.
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! (1 Corinth. 9:24 NLT)
My second, and final cool-down was filled with praises and worship. My face was dripping with sweat and tears. I steadied my breathing as I thanked God for the amazing strength that he gave me. I thanked him for renewing my confidence in my abilities. As I sang along in my head to the songs, my eyes closed, my hands clenched to the railing so I wouldn’t fall. I kept feeling my right hand wanting to open up in praise, and finally allowing it to.
On the treadmill. In a gym filled with other people who were working out. And I didn’t care what anyone thought.
Psalm 100 ~ A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100 NIV)